US: GM ignitions switch fatality count hits 100 mark image

The largest US automaker has recently announced its ignitions switch victims’ relief fund has decided that as of last week 100 death claims are eligible for compensation.

The General Motors Ignition Compensation Fund, led by outside attorney Kenneth Feinberg and his office, has been established last year as a measure of compensation for the victims’ stemming from the February recall of 2.6 million vehicles that were equipped with potentially fatal ignition switches. The fund was established last year and received compensation claims from victims or families of victims between August 2014 and January 31, 2015 – with a total of 4,342 claims being submitted. Now, with 626 applications yet to be reviewed, as of last week the number of deaths caused by the flawed part installed in GM vehicles has reached the 100 mark, up by three counts since the last progress report. The ignition switch can cause an engine stop while the vehicle is in motion, causing a critical loss of power to the safety systems, including the airbags.

With 626 applications yet to be reviewed out of the total of 4,342 submitted during the allocated period, the attorney and his team has deemed around 72 percent of the claims ineligible. Besides the 100 fatality cases, there have also been approved 12 cases of severe personal injury – ranging from limb loss to brain damage or burns. Another 172 people who suffered less serious injuries that still required hospitalization or home treatment have been deemed eligible for compensation. As of last month, GM chief financial officer Chuck Stevens has announced the company has raised the estimate for the compensation fund from the initial $400 million to $550 million.